3 ways to recover deleted contacts on iPhone

by Thomas Ford

Losing iPhone contacts can be quite a nuisance. You have to collect contact details from all the important people in your life again. You can never recover some old contacts, and if you lose your business contacts that’s even worse.

However, if you’ve accidentally deleted your iPhone contacts, all hope isn’t lost. There are three convenient means of recovering deleted contacts on iPhone.

Have you accidentally lost important contacts from your iPhone? You can recover those deleted contacts using one of the methods detailed below.

First, you can recover deleted contacts from an iCloud backup. Second, you can recover deleted contacts from an iTunes backup. Finally, if none of those methods work, you can use a third-party application called dr.fone — iPhone Data Recovery to recover those lost contacts.

Now, read on to find out how these methods work.

Part 1: Restore deleted contacts from an iCloud backup

This is perhaps the simplest of all methods by which to restore deleted contacts. However, it’s also the riskiest, because it will lead to complete data loss from your iPhone, and your iPhone will go back to factory settings.

Basically, your iPhone makes backups regularly, if you’ve permitted it to. As such, you can check to see what the latest backup is. If you find a backup from before you deleted your contacts, you can use it to overwrite your iPhone. This means your iPhone will begin to resemble what it was like at the time of the last backup. Any recent data you might have will be lost.

To avoid that, you need to make a separate copy of all the data on your iPhone since the date of your last backup. While the process of recovering deleted contacts using an iCloud backup may be easy, the whole process of backing up new data separately is quite inconvenient.

However, if you want to go ahead with this process, just follow these steps.

  1. Go to Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage. Now you’ll get a list of all the backups available in your iCloud. You can’t access the backups for individual files. You either restore all of it or none of it. Therefore, you should carefully browse through the date stamps on the iCloud backups to determine which one might have all your contacts.
  2. Once you’ve found the iCloud backup you need, restore your iPhone to factory settings. But before doing so, make sure you’ve saved all your important files and data separately. Now go to General > Reset > Erase all Content and Settings.
  3. The erasure will take a few moments. Once it’s done, your iPhone will set up again the way it did when it was new. Follow the steps.
  4. You’ll be asked if you want to recover your iPhone from an old backup. Select yes, and then choose the correct backup to restore.

With this process, you’ll be able to recover all your contact details. However, as I mentioned earlier, it could lead to considerable data loss as well.

Part 2: Restore deleted contacts from an iTunes backup

This option is another convenient means of recovering deleted contacts. However, it comes with its own drawbacks. First off, this requires you to have previously made backups of your iPhone using iTunes. Unlike iCloud, an iTunes backup isn’t stored on the cloud service, but rather on the hard drive of a Mac or a PC. It takes up a lot of space on your computer.

However, if you do have the correct backup on iTunes, you can easily recover your contacts. This method is similar to recovering from an iCloud backup, in that it will completely overwrite the current data in your iPhone. You can’t select specific data to restore — you must restore all of it.

If you’re convinced this is how you want to go about recovering your contacts, just follow these steps.

  1. Connect your iPhone to the computer it’s synced to using a USB cable. Once they’re connected, iTunes should launch automatically.
  2. In the top left corner of the iTunes window, you’ll see a small iPhone icon appear. Click on it.
  3. In the next window, you’ll see a button called “Restore iPhone.” Select that.
  4. Browse through all of the backups to determine which one of them has all the contacts you’ve lost. Once you’ve found it based on the timestamp, recover it.
  5. The backup from that file will completely overwrite your current iPhone data.

At the end of this simple process, you will have lost all your most recent data, but you will have recovered your vital contact details.

However, if you want to find out how to recover contacts without losing any data, read on.

Part 3: How to recover deleted contacts without backup using dr.fone

As already mentioned, the previous methods may be simple, but they lead to complete data loss after the date of the backup you utilize. However, you can use dr.fone — iPhone Data Recovery to make sure you recover lost or deleted contacts without suffering any data loss.

dr.fone is a third-party application that has been rolled out by Wondershare, one of China’s leading enterprises, according to acclaimed sites such as Forbes and Deloitte. In addition to being critically acclaimed, it also enjoys the trust of millions of users worldwide. As such, you can trust dr.fone — iPhone Data Recover to restore your lost contacts without causing any data loss.

Furthermore, this method works even if you don’t have any backups either in iCloud or iTunes. It can recover data directly from the iPhone. Simply follow the given steps.

Step 1: Connect iPhone to PC

First, connect your iPhone to your PC using a USB cable. Launch the dr.fone application, and select the “Data Recovery” option from the menu. In the next window, you’ll find three options in the side panel. Select “Recover from iOS Device.”

Step 2: Start scanning

You’ll find a list of options on what you want to recover specifically. Click on “Contacts. Now, in the bottom right-hand corner of the window, you’ll find the button, “Start Scan.” Click on that. The whole scanning process might take a while depending on the amount of data in your iPhone.

Step 3: Recover lost or deleted iPhone contacts

You’ll find a preview panel wherein you can find all your recovered data. Click on “Contacts” and then browse through all the recovered contact details! Finally, you can select one of two options. You can either “Restore to Device” or you can “Recover to Computer.”

With that simple three-step process you’ll be able to restore all your contacts without causing any data loss at all!


These are the three best options to restore deleted contacts to an iPhone. If you have a backup of your contacts in your iCloud, you can restore data from the iCloud backup. If you’ve been backing up on iTunes, you can use the restore from iTunes backup option. Both of these options lead to data loss.

However, if you don’t have a backup either in iCloud or iTunes, or if you don’t want to lose your current data, then your best options is to go for dr.fone — iPhone Data Recovery.

I hope this helps you out. If you have any questions, feel free to leave it in the comments section.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment